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The Red Menace (1949)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller | 1 August 1949 (USA)
An ex-GI becomes involved with the American Communist party, and falls in love with his instructor. The pair quickly realise their mistake, when they see how party leaders handle a member ... See full summary »


R.G. Springsteen


Albert DeMond (screenplay), Gerald Geraghty (screenplay) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Rockwell ... Bill Jones
Hanna Axmann-Rezzori ... Nina Petrovka (as Hanne Axman)
Betty Lou Gerson ... Yvonne Kraus
Barbra Fuller ... Mollie O'Flaherty
Shepard Menken Shepard Menken ... Henry Solomon
Lester Luther Lester Luther ... Earl Partridge
William Lally William Lally ... Jack Tyler (as William J. Lally)
Lloyd G. Davies Lloyd G. Davies ... Inspector O'Toole
Norman Budd ... Reachi
Leo Cleary Leo Cleary ... Father O'Leary
Kay Riehl Kay Riehl ... Mrs. O'Flaherty
William Martell William Martell ... Immigration Insp. Riggs
James Harrington James Harrington ... Martin Vejac
Duke Williams Duke Williams ... Sam Wright
Napoleon Simpson Napoleon Simpson ... Tom Wright


An ex-GI becomes involved with the American Communist party, and falls in love with his instructor. The pair quickly realise their mistake, when they see how party leaders handle a member who questioned the party's principles. When they try to leave, they're marked for assassination and hunted by the party killers. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


So shocking it was filmed behind locked studio doors! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

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[first lines]
Nina Petrovka: No... Don't let them... I'm afraid.
Bill Jones: Nina, stop it. It's me, Bill! They can't get us now.
Nina Petrovka: They're gonna kill us!
Bill Jones: Nina... Get a hold of yourself. Snap out of it.
Nina Petrovka: That same dream. Those frightening, sadistic faiths chasing me. Turning guns at me.
Bill Jones: It's nothing to worry about. They can't get us out here.
Nina Petrovka: You don't really believe that. You know we can't get away.
Bill Jones: They haven't caught us yet, have they?
Nina Petrovka: No, but... they are real! Oh please Bill, let me get myself up. It isn't you they're after, ...
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User Reviews

Second Thoughts
8 November 2017 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

For the most part it seems that it was the small studios that made the worst of the anti-Communist films from post World War II. In this case it was Republic Pictures of Herbert J. Yates home of the B western cowboy heroes who inflicted this one on the American public.

The Red Menace has the future object Our Miss Brooks's affection Robert Rockwell as a disillusioned GI who just got rooked by some sharpie real estate crooks over a plot of land to build a house. The lack of housing for returning veterans was a major domestic issue in the Truman years, no less a conservative than Robert A. Taft sponsored a government program to aid in housing construction.

An equally sharp talent scout for the US Communist Party spots Rockwell making a complaint and recruits him into the party. He's enthusiastic at first but then sees that this crowd really intrudes on every aspect and thought one might have. Getting also disillusioned is Hannah Axman as they see one by one people who deviate get dealt with severely.

It's not even that some of what is put forth here is completely untrue. It was that in 1949 some reactionary politicians usually belonging to the GOP saw the Russian spy scandals as a chance to stamp out liberal thought to the left of Walter Winchell. So we had the HUAC hearings and a year later Joe McCarthy looking for an issue to hang his re- election to the Senate on discovered The Red Menace.

Two of the supporting players in the cast really stand out. First Lester Luther as the top commissar in the USA comes off like a poor man's Edward Arnold. Secondly Betty Lou Gerson when her alias is exposed by Immigration goes full blown mad in a scene that Bette Davis might have done in a better picture.

For a good anti-Communist film I recommend Trial which starred Glenn Ford and Arthur Kennedy. The Red Menace is about as menacing as Dennis.

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Release Date:

1 August 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Underground Spy See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Republic Pictures (I) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (1950 re-release)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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